John Read Hodges simply went by Read.
He was born in Nashville, graduated from Maplewood High School in 1964, and transitioned to Auburn and finally the University of Tennessee in Knoxville where he received his degree in microbiology in 1972. Professionally, he spent his entire career working for the state of Tennessee at Ellington Agricultural Center as an animal disease diagnostician.
Read met his companion Tom Bryant in 1967, and over their 56 years together they traveled extensively. There was a total of 39 cruises...the last of which was in 2019 and included St. Petersburg Russia as a port of call. In total he visited 60 countries on six continents, several Canadian provinces, and all but a handful of the states in this country. Paris captured his fancy and over the years he spent a total of almost three months there. Covid slowed travel considerably, but didn't eliminate the annual winter escapes to Florida. For many years he spent a month in Fort Lauderdale, and another month in Orlando.
Another hobby was gardening. Read loved growing flowers and plants, always had plenty of fresh tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers. In later years he even maintained a greenhouse on his patio in Bellevue which allowed him to keep plants safe during winter months.
Read loved to chat with people, consequently he had a lot of friends and acquaintances. He had a quick wit and keen sense of humor, and all who knew him enjoyed his frequent use of colorful southern phrases and terms.
Cancer ended the life of this memorable man on November 25, 2023
He will be missed.